BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Many West Virginians feel forced to leave the state in search of employment, but organizers of the Regional Job and Resource Fair hoped to show them otherwise.
Jonathan Collins grew up in Lewisburg and went to school at Bluefield State College. Even after leaving the mountain state, country roads always called him home.
“I left the area for awhile. And every time I found myself leaving to go on a different trip out of the country or to a different state to visit friends, I ended up coming back home. I never realized how much I love it here until I was about 30,” Collins said.
It has been the driving mission in the state: raise them here, educate them here, and keep them here. WVU Tech made it a goal to find employment for their students in the mountain state and their admission counselor, Dwayne Ewing, said it is important for the West Virginia economy.
“I think our people are our talent base. I think that we really need to do more to be able to able to keep the students here local and to develop our economy and have a coming home party here in West Virginia,” Ewing said.
Hiring locals has really paid off for local businesses. Most of Hospice Southern West Virginia’s staff grew up in the Appalachian region. Christopher Clay, the Hospice Public Relations Director, said that is what is important to the patients.
“It’s good to have someone to relate to on a cultural level. It’s good to have someone to relate to, who was there, and can say you know this person and that person, someone to converse with. That’s really important for patients. And we’re lucky enough to have West Virginians that are educated and kind and who want to come work for us,” Clay said.